My Mom, the musician, the magician, the most creative person I ever knew. Ma to me. Amma for the world to know. Nearly four years since she left us. Her music isn't forgotten. Here's a little something I wrote and recited in her honor.
On Ramanavami, clearing out the kitchen at the end of the day,
You learn to find rhythm, in the curves of greasy old pots,
The straight lines of soiled cutlery,
Soapy suds settling over them like fickle birds on a fence,
The tinkle-pop of running water,
The metallic glitter of all the strokes of the thready leminisci,
All set to the rise and fall of Bhavayami Raghuramam,
Sung in Amma's festive voice.
Your heartbeat drops an octave at the thought,
And you stand in stillness for a precise moment, thinking how
All the Ragas in the Ragamalika can't contain
The silence of the empty measures between breaths:
The slow shift from Nattakurinji to Dhanyasi,
Held in the way you scoop out the coffee slush
From the drip filter, tracing where the last slow drops fell through.
Then, you catch the upbeat quiver of Mohana,
Spiraling down to the melancholy of Mukhaari;
A pause, like your child's laughter hanging in the air,
Caught so delicately in a photograph.
On comes Purvikalyani, teasing your mind to its fringes,
As you recall the momentary joy of finding the scallop-edged plate,
The spark of setting it out on the table.
Madhyamavati sways in, offering counterpoise ever-so-gently,
A sigh, an empty moment to honor your instinct.
And then the hollow ringing of everything resumes,
As you peel things back, to shine the kitchen:
A dredge of garam masala in the mortar,
A splotch of tomatoey sauce on the stove,
A heat-pressed peel of cucumber embossed on the countertop,
A sinuous ginger-hair stuck in the wedge of the peeler,
You scrub and swipe vigorously, glossing up everything in sight,
And the Saveri-fied symphony settles fully into your tired bones,
In Amma's mellifluous voice, with all its flaws and fault lines.
#mom #music #poetry #kitchenpoetry #writer #memories #instapoetry #poetsofinstagram #india #carnaticmusic
#ragamalika #ramanavami #sing #beautifulmemories #raga #mohana #nattakurinji #mukhaari